What should I know about metabolic rejuvenation?

????????????????????????????????????The weight loss market in the United States is now worth a whopping $72 billion. This is expected given that over two-thirds of American adults are overweight. Even about 32.5 percent of American adults are obese. As a result, dieting, rigorous exercise regiment, and medication are some of the ways people try to lose weight.

However, for many people, it seems that irrespective of what they do, their weight stays the same. Though they stay away from junk food, eat dinner early, religiously attend four cardio classes and one Pilates session every week, their weight never budges.

This can be particularly frustrating for people that are obese (planning to lose over 50 pounds) and their weight continually disrupts their daily life, yet it seems there’s nothing they can do about it. Luckily, there’s one lifeline that can get you to lose that much weight – Metabolic Rejuvenation.

The Problem With the Conventional Approach to Weight Loss

The traditional view of counting calories for weight loss, especially for women, has resulted in an epidemic of reduced metabolism and frustrated dieters. When you eat like a worm and spend hours exercising, two outcomes are guaranteed. In the short term, reduced food intake and increased cardiovascular activities lead to weight loss. However, in the medium term, the body adjusts to this new food and exercise routine and fat loss eventually stops. Even worse, any deviation from this new norm will pile on the pounds.

But what’s the solution to this? The key is to transform the body into a fat-burning machine. This way, you can live your life happily and in good health without having to worry about the repercussions of the pizza you ate last night. That brings us to metabolic rejuvenation.

What is Metabolic Rejuvenation?

Metabolic rejuvenation is the process of resetting your body’s metabolic rate through rapid and intelligent planning. Our bodies are highly adaptive. That’s why you gain weight when you feed too much. But by implementing new strategies, your body gets adapted in positive ways that will bring about remarkable transformations in your body.

Metabolic Rejuvenation Program

This program is particularly targeted for patients that want to lose over 50 pounds in less than three months. To accomplish this, a physician will review your food diary for one day and provide specific coaching. Thereafter, a body composition test will be used to closely monitor your progress. This also helps to make the necessary adjustments to best suit how your body is reacting to the process. It also involves certain medicines and an exercise plan. The ultimate goal is to take a holistic approach to modify your metabolic processes.

Here’s a proper breakdown of what metabolic rejuvenation involves:

  • Treatment Plan

This involves the development of a detailed initial functional medicine treatment plan. This plan will specifically address imbalances and other factors that contribute to weight loss like insulin resistance, depressed metabolism, food allergies, high cortisol levels, hypothyroidism, sleep deprivation, hormone imbalance, neurotransmitter imbalance, and more. By incorporating prescription medication (if needed), nutritional supplements, medical food, and hormone replacement, these imbalances can be fixed.

  • Body Composition Testing

Monitoring progress is very important in metabolic rejuvenation. Body composition analysis makes it possible to specifically monitor fat loss and increase in lean muscle since that’s the target. The sophisticated InBody 520 from BIOSPACE is used to carry out the test.

  • Treatment Plan Adjustments

As new insights are obtained from the analysis and test result, the treatment plans will be adjusted to have the maximum impact. This may involve adjusting nutritional supplements, hormones, medical foods, and/or prescription medication.

  • Eating Plan Guidance

Dieting is crucial when it comes to weight loss, as taking too much or even the wrong calories can hurt your weight. An eating plan guidance takes into account your body composition to determine what kind of food is best suited for you. As the program progresses, your daily food diary will be adjusted to make changes well-suited for your body.

  • Effective Exercise

Exercising is also an important piece of metabolic rejuvenation. However, many people, especially women do not get it right. They tend to overfocus on the cardio machines, paying less attention to the weight areas. And as a result, after six months of cardio workouts, no change is noticeable. Aerobic exercise is more effective to burn fat and is good for the heart and the entire cardiovascular system. However, aerobic exercise has little impact on the muscles, and may even lead to muscle loss, which is undesirable as muscles are important to stay in shape.

An effective exercise regimen incorporates muscle building with fat loss. To determine the appropriate exercise, your specific physiology and body composition will be used. As you progress, your body composition will be monitored and the exercise plan adjusted as needed.

Contact us today for more information regarding metabolic rejuvenation. We’re here to help and happy to discuss your well being with you!

Five easy steps to start living a green life

Green living — what many thought was a trend has officially found its place. It’s a lifestyle change that’s picking up steam, settling into the lives of many who are looking for a more natural, non-toxic and healthier lifestyle.19562151 - beautiful young woman outdoors  enjoy nature

It’s true that what you put in and on your body makes a difference. Skin care, beauty products, food and home cleansers are all areas of concern for many. There’s a desire to use products that we can all feel good about, for ourselves, and for our children and pets.

But, getting started can be overwhelming and you may wonder, do I need to throw away everything I own? In short, the answer is no. Here’s how you can make the switch in a transitional way.

1. Take inventory and do your research.
Break all of your possessions into categories, depending on what it’s used for and then take a look at the Think Dirty app. Scan your products’ barcodes and learn how safe and non-toxic they are…or aren’t. You’ll quickly pick up on the ingredients that are red-flagged as being less than ideal. Spend some time researching these ingredients so you know what to look out for.

2. Adjust your budget.
Whether or not you already have a budget in place for household expenses, redo it. The truth is that organic and sustainable foods typically cost more than their counterparts and if you aren’t financially prepared, it can be discouraging.

3. Buy in bulk.
Many warehouse clubs offer more cost-effective natural and organic options because you’re buying in bulk. Your total bill may be higher than what you’re used to at your corner grocery store, but your cost per ounce should be lower and the product will last longer.

4. Replace as you go.
Sure, once you’re educated about your ingredients, the idea of continuing to consume them is a little scary. Unless you’re willing to spend the money on a complete overhaul, just replace as you go. Once a cleaning product runs out, replace it with it’s non-toxic counterpart.

5. Sign up for curated boxes.
You probably have products that work for you. When it comes to replacing them, you want to make sure you aren’t on a wild, and expensive, goose chase to find something else that’s equally good. Invest a little bit of money in trying out curated boxes, like The Detox Box.

Join the number of people who have found success in living a green lifestyle. Adopting non-toxic products into your routine will give you peace of mind knowing that you’re surrounding yourself with healthier alternatives.

What is personalized precision medicine?

?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????Over the course of thousands of years, health practitioners have sought after more effective treatment for patients through observation and experimentation, carefully building on the efforts of the previous generations.

But for the most part, medicine has always been created and prescribed based on taking a statistical average of its effect on human population samples. While medicine used in this manner helped a lot of people, it failed to ameliorate the medical conditions of many. That’s why the ultimate goal of clinicians has been to create more accurate, proactive, precise, and impactful care for each individual.

Modern physicians and scientists are at the forefront of making this a reality, a destination far beyond what our ancestors envisioned. With the help of electronic medical records, genetic testing, big data analytics, and super-computing, all crucial ingredients for creating truly personalized medicine are in view.

Definition of Personalized Precision Medicine

Precision medicine is the concept of tailoring disease treatment and prevention to account for differences in genetic, environmental, and lifestyle habits of specific people groups. It analyses the genetic and biomedical information unique to a group of patients and uses it to streamline a medication that will be much more effective.

Precision medicine is also referred to as personalized medicine, but the ‘personalized medicine’ term has been falling out of favor. Personalized medicine is commonly misinterpreted to imply that treatments and preventions are being developed uniquely for each individual. That is not the case. In precision medicine, the focus is on creating treatments that apply to groups of individuals who meet certain characteristics.

Understanding the Role of Genes in Precision Medicine

When it comes to chronic diseases, genetics play a crucial role in the way food, medication, and other supplements are metabolized and used by a person’s body. A therapy that’s right for a person may be ineffective for a person with the same medical condition but a different genetic makeup.

Examples of Genetic Weakness

Consider a patient that has genetic weakness in the immune system “off switch” like SNP CTLA4. That patient won’t be able to effectively turn off inflammatory cytokines and this will lead to runaway inflammation. If the patient is exposed to inflammation-inducing events like stress, infections, vaccines, etc., their body produces inflammatory cytokines, but because of the weakness of CTLA4, the body cannot turn off the inflammation.

For better insight, let’s consider another patient with the dreaded C677T. This condition decreases a person’s methylation capability by about 40%/70% (hetero/homo). In the methylation process, methylfolate is produced, which is central to generating energy and ATP that makes many important neurotransmitters like serotonin and GABA. With this decreased capability, the patient suffers from fatigue, low energy, and other symptoms associated with reduced production of serotonin, dopamine, and GABA.

Finally, imagine a patient with these two conditions; significant inflammation and methylation deficiency. The right medication to use should be methylfolate. However, without first addressing the inflammation before using methylfolate, the patient gets sicker. It’s like knowing the recipe for making spaghetti but having no idea on the procedure – it’ll end up a complete disaster. Precision medicine, in this instance, helps medical practitioners understand not only the right medication but the right order to obtain the intended result.

The Promise of Precision Medicine

Throughout human history, medicine has been largely reactive. Even today, we mostly have to wait for the onset of diseases before trying to treat or cure them. However, because precision medicine is based on each patient’s genetic medicine, it holds the promise of breaking from the limitations of traditional medicine.

Here are some of the applications healthcare providers are increasingly harnessing precision medicine for:

  • Shifting the emphasis of medicine from reactive to preventive
  • Predicting susceptibility to disease
  • Improving disease detection
  • Preempting disease progression
  • Customizing strategies for disease-prevention
  • Avoiding prescribing drugs with predictable side effects.
  • Saving treatment time and boosting the success rate
  • Eliminating a trial-and-error approach to treatment.

Case Study: Precision Medicine in Cancer Treatment

Approximately 1.7 million cases of cancer are diagnosed each year in the United States, and it claims about 600,000 people. It was one of the leading causes of death in America, second only to heart disease. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality estimates that the economic cost associated with cancer is about $80 billion per year in terms of lost productivity, wages, care costs.

Do you know that all cancer is caused by a genetic change or mutation of some kind? In simple terms, cancer cells are just mutated versions of normal cells. While our knowledge is still limited with regards to the genes and mutation involved in the development of cancer, there has been significant progress. For instance, depending on the certain gene mutation, it is possible to tell if that person is more likely to have a specific type of cancer. Furthermore, if a person has a certain cancer type, it is possible to tell based on certain mutated genes if they will respond well to a specific treatment.

With precision medicine, doctors may be able to:

Prevent Certain Types of Cancer

Imagine a person from a family where cancer runs. If their doctor notices this pattern, the person might undergo genetic testing from a certified genetic counselor. Thereafter, the results can be analyzed to see if the gene change or mutation increases their risk for certain cancer types. If recognized early in life, it is possible to prescribe medicine and suggest healthy lifestyle habits that may help significantly reduce the risk.

Precision medicine can also be used to prevent certain cancer types from developing.

Better Diagnose Cancer

Late diagnosis is one of the major challenges that complicate cancer development. Precision makes cancer diagnosis easier. Biomarker tests can be done using blood saliva, blood sample, biopsy tissue, or body fluids.

Develop Effective Cancer Treatment

Genetic testing can help doctors determine the best course of treatment because certain gene changes can affect how a tumor responds to certain treatments. As a concrete example, melanoma skin cancer can be caused by a variety of gene mutations. This means that a treatment that works for a certain variant may not work for another. Since the goal is to give a treatment that can specifically target the gene mutation with minimal side effects, knowing what genes to target can be helpful. Targeted therapy and immunotherapy are two types of treatment often used in precision medicines for this purpose.

Conclusion

We are just beginning to scratch the surface of how personalized precision medicine can help transform the field of medicine. Neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease, rare genetic conditions, and cancer take an enormous toll on individuals, families, and society as a whole. With the promise of precision medicine, the future is, indeed, bright.

Contact us today. We would be happy to give you more information!

Four things to keep in mind when practicing prenatal yoga

The practice of yoga comes with its set of health benefits. You can expect increased flexibility and for your body to make positive physical changes, such as increased muscle tone and a more lean physique. You may notice that you have better posture the more you practice, an increase in energy, and better circulatory health. Yoga also helps boost the immune system, can increase blood flow, and contributes to an overall sense of relaxation and mindfulness.

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Whether you’re new to the practice or consider yourself a yogi, practicing yoga while pregnant can come with its own set of precautions due to your already changing body.

Here are our tips for a safe and effective yoga session:

Drink plenty of water.
While yoga can be relaxing, it’s still a workout. Your daily fluid intake may have already increased due to pregnancy, and you don’t want to let that slip during this or any other exercise.

Be careful during horizontal postures.
Postures that involve you lying on your back can put pressure on parts of your body that support maternal cardiac health, as well as fetal oxygen health. Lying on your stomach can also get very uncomfortable very fast.

Understand your center of gravity.
As you progress in pregnancy, your center of body mass shifts, with an increased likelihood of losing your balance. A fall during pregnancy can be dangerous so, for any balancing poses, we suggest holding on to a sturdy object for support.

Listen to your body.
Even if you’ve been practicing yoga for a long period of time, pregnancy changes the way your body responds to the practice. Listen to your body and take care of yourself should you experience lightheadedness, headaches, or anything else that is even slightly out of the norm for you. It’s best to be safe!

There are plenty of benefits to prenatal yoga, including improved sleep (a necessity during this time), decreased lower back pain, and improved muscle flexibility and endurance that’ll help during the birthing process. Before beginning any practice, always be sure to check in with your health care provider to make sure yoga is okay for you and your unique situation.

Now, go on and enjoy your prenatal yoga session. Namaste.

Heart attack prevention – steps to take

20688446_MHeart disease (also known as cardiovascular diseases) are conditions that involve restricted or blocked blood vessels that may lead to heart attack, stroke, or chest pain (angina). It is the number one cause of death in the United States, claiming the lives of about 655,000 people annually. The irony, however, is that many people don’t take steps to protect themselves from it, even though these steps are simple.

Several things raise the risk of heart disease and they are called ‘risk factors.’ Some of them are beyond your control. Examples include age, gender, race or ethnicity, family history, and genetics, among many others. Fortunately, some things are within your control that can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases. This post explores some of the most important ones.

Stop Smoking

If you’ve never smoked, that’s perfect! If you do, you should stop now! Cigarette smoke contains over 7,000 chemicals that damage your heart vessel over time. These chemicals are so pernicious that even if you’ve stopped smoking a long time ago, your heart might still be at risk. For former chronic smokers, it takes a long time for heart damages to be repaired, but some never get restored.

Furthermore, reduce exposure to secondhand smoke. A study by the FDA showed that secondhand smoke increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases by 25% to 30%.

The good news is that if you quit smoking, after about a year, your risk of heart disease drops to about half that of a smoker.

Lower Your Cholesterol Levels

Once low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol starts to build in the bloodstream, it gets deposited inside your coronary arteries, which restricts blood flow. They may even rupture. This leads to the spewing of chemicals that accelerate the formation of blood clots, which prevents oxygen-carrying blood from reaching the heart. This may, invariably, lead to a heart attack. Triglycerides are another type of fat found in the blood and they typically increase the risk of coronary artery disease, especially in women.

That’s why it is important to keep your cholesterol level in check. Healthy diets, medication, and regular exercise will help with that.

Maintain a Healthy Weight

Do you know that more than two-thirds of Americans are either overweight or obese? This is scary considering, for most people, their lifestyle is the primary contributing factor. Being overweight or obese can result in high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes. These conditions, in turn, increases your risk of heart disease.

The BMI is an important metric used to determine if your weight is healthy, based on your weight and height. A BMI of over 25 is considered unhealthy. Dieting, exercising, and medication can help you lose weight.

Eat Healthy Foods

Certain foods increase your risk of developing heart disease. Some of them include salt, sugar, processed carbohydrates, saturated fat (in full-fat dairy products and red meat), and trans fat (in fast foods, baked goods, and chips). Try to limit their intake.

Instead, opt for heart-healthy foods like vegetables, fruits, lean meat and fish, beans and other legumes, whole grains, and healthy fats like olive oil. Remember, you are what you eat!

Exercise Regularly

Being active and doing exercise is beneficial for the body system. It helps to lower blood pressure, enhance blood circulation, and keep your heart and blood vessels in good condition. Furthermore, it helps to burn calories, which can help lose weight, which, in turn, lowers your blood pressure.

The great thing is that you do not need to engage in strenuous activities like football and squash to reap from the benefits of exercise. Low-impact exercises like walking, jogging, swimming, and cycling will help you stay fit.

Reduce Alcohol Intake

If you must drink, then you should limit it to less than 14 units per week. Fourteen units are equivalent to 10 small glasses of low-strength wine or 6 pints of average-strength beer. Moreover, spread your drinking over three or more days.

Excessive alcohol intake increases calories, which might cause weight gain. It also raises your blood pressure and cholesterol, which increases your risk of a heart attack. Avoid binge drinking because it may cause a sudden spike in your blood pressure, which can be harmful.

Manage Stress

We live in a fast-paced world where many people develop unhealthy lifestyles to cope with stress – such as drinking, overeating, or smoking. As you’ve seen, all these habits substantially increase your risk of heart disease. Extreme stress is also a trigger for heart attack.

That’s why it’s important to manage your stress properly. Exercising, relaxation routines, listening to music, yoga, and meditating are more effective ways of dealing with stress.

Get Sufficient Sleep

Many people underplay the importance of sleep in maintaining good health. Not getting sufficient sleep is bad and it increases the risk of having a heart attack. Moreover, disruptive sleep conditions like sleep apnea and insomnia increase the risk of heart disease.

Most healthy adults need about 7 to 9 hours of sleep at night to function at their best. Plan your day better so you can get a good night’s rest. If you have a sleep problem that disrupts your sleep, seek medical help.

Manage Diabetes

Diabetes is a risk factor for diabetic heart disease. Risk factors for diabetes include being overweight and genetics. Diabetes results in high blood sugar which damages the blood vessels and nerves that control the heart and blood vessel. Early detection can help you make the necessary lifestyle changes that can help minimize its impact. Therefore, it’s important to get tested for diabetes.

Get Regular Health Screenings

Many people have underlying health conditions like high blood pressure and high cholesterol. But without regular screenings, it remains undetected until the problem becomes worse. That’s why it’s important to have regular blood pressure screening; at least once every one or two years. Moreover, adults should have their cholesterol level measured, at least, once every 4 to 6 years.

If any of this condition is detected on time, your doctor may prescribe medication or recommend lifestyle changes that will help reduce the risk of further complications. Make sure you follow your doctor’s instructions.

Reach out to us today with any questions you may have.

Should you be dry brushing?

Brushing is a part of your daily routine. You brush your hair, you brush your teeth, you brush your body. Wait, what?16577608_M

Dry brushing is a process that involves brushing your skin with a natural brush to remove toxins from your body. It may sound odd, but if it’s not a part of your routine, you may benefit from adding it in. But, what exactly is dry brushing, what does it do, how do you do it and does the brush you use matter? We have answers to some of your most frequently asked dry brushing questions.

What exactly is dry brushing?
Dry brushing is actually a process that’s been around for an incredibly long time. When you dry brush, you’re stimulating your lymphatic system, which is responsible for draining the toxins from your body. Dry brushing is exactly as it sounds — running a dry brush over your skin.

What does dry brushing do?
Besides stimulate your lymphatic system, dry brushing has been said to reduce the appearance of cellulite, exfoliate dead skin and unclog pores. Dry brushing also gives a natural energy boost so a morning dry brushing session may help to get you prepared and invigorated for the day ahead.

How do you dry brush?
Dry brushing is easy. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Without using too much pressure, start at your feet and work your way up.
  2. Always brush toward the center of your body. The lymphatic system drains in your chest so brushing in this direction will help the entire process.
  3. Either use firm, small strokes upwards, or brush in an upward, circular motion.
  4. Brush your stomach in a counterclockwise motion for best results.
  5. Go over each area of your skin several times. There should be some major overlap.

Although it’s called dry brushing, you can use a little bit of body oil on your brush, which will transfer nicely to your skin and help exfoliate.

Does the brush you use matter?
It can. There are a number of dry brushes on the market so first, trying holding onto different kinds. You may like handheld dry brushes, or you may prefer dry brushes with a handle so it’s easier to reach your back. The bristles of your brush should be firm, but shouldn’t be too stiff or require a lot of pressure to brush effectively.

If you brush once or twice a day, you’ll likely experience the benefits. It’ll become a healthy habit that is easily incorporated into your routine and becomes just as “normal” as brushing the other parts of your body.

Integrative medicines role in treating illnesses

Conceptual mental exercise.What is Integrative Medicine?

Integrative medicine involves the use of appropriate healthcare professionals, therapeutic approaches and the disciplines to reach optimal healing and health. It focuses on the entire body and combines conventional medical therapy with other therapies.

Integrative medicine aims to maintain and restore the wellness and health of a person by comprehending the patient’s overall health condition, including spiritual and psychological dimensions. It also considers the patient’s biological, psycho-social., behavioral, and environmental factors.

The following are the principles that define the use of integrative medicine:

  • The practitioner and the patient are companions in the process of healing.
  • The factors that affect wellness, disease, and health are taken into account such as the body, spirit, mind, community, etc.
  • Less invasive, effective, and natural interventions are used during the healing process.
  • The practitioners take the help of the healing sciences to allow the body to respond to innate healing.
  • Good science makes good medicine which is available for new paradigms.
  • Along with the concepts of medicinal treatment, there is a broader concept of wellness and health promotion and how to prevent illness.
  • Personalized care based on the needs and conditions and circumstances of the patient.

Integrative Medicine and its Benefits

The practice of integrative medicine integrates the latest scientific medical treatment protocols with conventional medical treatments or therapies.

The benefits of practicing integrative medicine are as follows:

  • A broad approach to wellness and carethe best thing about integrative medicine is that it combines conventional medicine which is based on evidence and alternative medicine. For instance, conventional treatments for backaches are sometimes ineffective, and in that situation, your practitioner may provide you with osteopathic manipulative therapy (OMT) or acupuncture, an anti-inflammatory diet plan, or massage therapy.
  • Treatment of the person, not only the disease or condition – When your provider is applying integrative medicine to treat your problem, the emphasis is given on all the important factors that affect your health, be it physical, behavioral, biological, environmental, or psychosocial. So, you get an overall treatment of not just your physical body or health but also your mental health, your community, etc.
  • Creating a foundation for your overall wellness and health – We have already learned about how integrative medicine treats the overall condition of the body. Hence, it involves making a groundwork for better overall health. This kind of treatment actively addresses the nutritional status like food allergies or vitamin deficiencies, immunity systems like an inflammatory burden or gut health, environmental toxins such as occupational hazards, pesticides present in food, etc and also hormonal imbalances.
  • Prevention of future health problems before they arise – Integrative medicine is synonymous with preventive medicine. This means integrative medicine is the best treatment through which you can secure future health by learning or gaining full knowledge about your present health status and exploring ways to address the medical health issues proactively, much before they arise.
  • Integrative medicines can relate to both specialty and primary care – integrative medicinal treatment can be applied in both primary as well as specialty care such as pain management, gastroenterology, and psychiatry.

When should I go for Integrative Medicine?

People go for integrative medicine for various reasons but several studies have shown that most of them pursue it because they find integrative medicine better aligned with their beliefs, philosophies, and values regarding their life and health over the rigid and restrictive conventional medical treatments.

The customizable personal care that comes with the practice of integrative medicine is preferred by most of the patients. They feel that turning to an integrative approach will let them achieve the best health and will also enable them to maintain it. In fact, studies at Duke Integrative Medicine prove that those who take part in integrative medicine treatment experience more insightful and intense health benefits than those who do not participate in integrative medicine.

Many of the integrative medicinal treatments are not that old. They include certain herbal treatments and acupuncture as well which have been around the medicinal approach for more since ages. People are experiencing these therapies in managing pain combined with modern techniques. Scientists and health care workers find integrative medicine to be more useful since it gives positive outcomes for a variety of pain and illnesses. So, integrative medicines role in treating illnesses is going to be increasing in future for sure.

Conclusive Thoughts

We, at Proactive Wellness Centers, aim to help our patients achieve optimal health and functional efficiency one individualized plan at a time. Your health is important to us. We understand that issues around your well being can be intimidating. If you have any questions you would like to discuss with us, please feel free to contact us here today.

We’re looking forward to learning more about you!

References:

https://health.usnews.com/health-conditions/heart-health/integrative-medicine/overview

https://www.floridamedicalclinic.com/blog/5-integrative-medicine-benefits/

https://dukeintegrativemedicine.org/about/what-is-integrative-medicine/

Why an apple a day may actually keep the doctor away

We’ve all heard of the adage, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” The original phrase was, “Eat an apple on going to bed, and you’ll keep the doctor from earning his bread.” There have been many iterations of this popular saying, but the meaning behind it remains the same: apples do a body good. 62200725_S

Turns out that apples are incredibly beneficial. In fact, you can even find apples in some of the traditional medicine from southern Asia some 1,500 years ago!

Especially during the winter, when apples of all varieties are plentiful, why not enjoy one a day? Here are some benefits you can expect.

1. Apples are filled with vitamins. You can find a pretty good dose of vitamins C (for immunity and body tissues), B6 (for brain development and function) and A (for vision and immunity).

2. They’ll help contribute to your daily fiber intake. If you want to keep your cholesterol low and your digestive health high, apples can help you do just that due to their soluble fiber. Fiber is for more than digestive health and helps to reduce the risk of heart disease, obesity and diabetes.

3. Apples act as a toothbrush. Apples naturally clean teeth and kill bacteria in your mouth, which helps you avoid tooth decay. Tooth decay can affect other organs in your body, like your heart.

4. They are chock-full of antioxidants. Antioxidants may help lower your risk of cancer, infection and other diseases.

5. Apples contain important minerals. Apples contain their fair share of calcium (for strong bones), iron (for oxygen transport to the blood) and potassium (for consistent blood pressure).

Did you know that the skin of the apple is the most nutritious part? If you want to absorb all of the nutrients you possibly can from this fine fruit, keep the peel on and enjoy!

How nutrition plays a role in your health

Grocery shopping cart conceptIn today’s world, we have access to a wider variety of food than at any other point in human history. However, the irony is that we have picked up unhealthy eating habits that have led to the proliferation of diseases of civilization, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and even cancer.

Your food choices each day play an impact on your health – how you feel today, how you will feel tomorrow, and far into the future. Why? The food we eat gives our body the materials and ‘information’ that ensure its proper functioning.

When the food we consume lacks all the necessary nutrients, some important information is not sent and it may result in several deficiencies. On the other hand, eating too much or consuming unhealthy sends the wrong message which leads to abnormal metabolic processes that can result in overweight and a couple of other diseases like diabetes.

These nutrients are the so-called ‘information’. Nutrients are nourishing substances essential for the growth, development, and maintenance of bodily functions. That’s why the role of nutrition cannot be overemphasized.

This post is going to explore the relationship between nutrition and some major chronic diseases.

Nutrition and Chronic Diseases

Many of the chronic health problems we face today can be linked to unhealthy eating habits. In America, over 78% of healthcare expenditures are for the treatment of chronic diseases. This is a fundamental societal problem considering that the United States ranks ninth in life expectancy among nations of the developed world. One major impact of poor nutrition in America is that we have a workforce plagued with absenteeism and reduced productivity due to chronic diseases.

Here are some of the major diseases we battle with as a society and now they can be ameliorated with proper nutrition.

Cardiovascular Disease

Do you know that heart disease is the number 1 killer of both men and women in America, killing about 647,000 people each year? Aside from unchangeable risk factors like age, and family history, it can also be caused by correctable problems like unhealthy diet, being overweight, lack of exercise, and smoking.

Heart disease results from the narrowing of the arteries that supply the heart with blood through a process known as atherosclerosis. Diet high in saturated fats and cholesterol increases the risk of blood clotting. Diets rich in sodium can cause high blood pressure which is a risk factor for heart disease. Consuming alcohol increases the chance of developing cardiovascular diseases.

Here are some healthy eating habits to adopt to reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease.

Pay attention to your calorie intake: Watch your calorie intake to ensure that you maintain a healthy weight, as obesity is associated with an increased risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. And by the way, about 40% of American adults are obese.

Do not consume food that is high in saturated and trans fat.

Limit red meat intake: Someone with a risk for heart disease should not obtain their protein from red meat. Rather, poultry, fish, and nuts are great alternatives. The omega-3 fatty acids in fish can help lower the risk of coronary artery disease.

Avoid Sugar: Simple sugar in beverages like soda and juice should be avoided as they provide no nutrients but add calories.

Diabetes

A report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showed that over 100 million U.S. adults are living with diabetes or prediabetes. And as it stands, diabetes is the 7th in the leading causes of death in the United States.

Diabetes is caused when the body produces an insufficient amount of insulin or the body is unable to properly make use of the produced insulin. These two scenarios result in type 1 and type 2 diabetes respectively.

Many factors including genetics, exercise, and more influence diabetes, but food also plays a crucial role. A diet high in fat, calories, and cholesterol increases the risk of diabetes and other health problems.

Some eating advice that should be adopted by people with diabetes and people that want to lower their risk factor of having diabetes include:

Pay attention to the fat you consume: People with diabetes have a higher risk of heart disease. By limiting the amount of saturated and trans fat consumed, it significantly lowers their risk of heart attack and stroke.

Drastically limit red meat intake: plant-based protein sources like beans should be adopted, as well as poultry, eggs, and seafood.

Eat nutritious grains: Foods like whole oats, quinoa, whole-grain barley, and whole-grain popcorn (without butter) are healthy food choices.

Fruits are a must: To satisfy your sugar cravings, do so with fruits; preferably fresh fruits.

Eat nutrient-filled vegetables: Non-starchy veggies like broccoli, onion, green beans, and tomatoes are low in calories and carbohydrates, making them suitable for diabetics.

Lung Disease

Most people are surprised when they find out that the food they eat may affect their breathing. Well, when you think about it, the food serves as the fuel of the body; meaning it is responsible for providing the required nutrients to all body organs; including the lungs.

For people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), an inflammation in the lung that causes breathing problems, certain types of food can exacerbate their condition. Therefore, eating well is important. Overeating results in obesity which increase the pressure in the lungs.

Here are some nutrition tips for people diagnosed with COPD:

Eat complex carbohydrate: It can be found in foods like whole grains, fresh fruits, and veggies.

Simple carbohydrates found in soda, sweets, and candy should be avoided.

Incorporate between 20 to 30 grams of fiber into your daily diet: Foods rich in fiber include nuts, seeds, fruit, and vegetables.

Increase protein intake to strengthen the respiratory muscles.

Diets high in trans and saturated fat should be limited: Some example includes butter, crackers, and hydrogenated vegetable oil.

Conclusion

In reality, there a whole lot of other diseases that can be caused by poor nutrition. Some include:

  • Tooth decay
  • High blood pressure
  • Some types of cancer
  • Depression… and lots more.

Paying close attention to the food you consume can go a long way in helping you live a long and healthy life. Reach out to us today for more information.

Which type of meditation is right for you?

The potential benefits of meditation can be vast: less stress, improved cardiovascular health and increased self-awareness, to name a few. Meditation as a practice has been around since the prehistoric times, and while eastern holistic medicine has incorporated meditation into daily routines, it’s just starting to catch on in the west.31135020 - woman meditating practicing yoga outdoors

Meditation is a practice that spans cultures and religions. It is practiced by individuals from different economic, ethnic and educational backgrounds.

Quickly gaining in popularity, you might be curious how meditation would work for you. Here are five of the more popular types so you can decide.

Mindfulness meditation
This is the form of meditation you might be most familiar with, as it’s very popular in the west. In this type, become one with your mind and your breath. Your attention may wander at first, but bringing it back to center is what this form of meditation is all about.

Focused meditation
If you feel the need to be more attentive in your daily life, this form of meditation may be for you. It involves focusing on every aspect of a given item or activity with the intention of shutting off all other thoughts. Choose a target to focus on, get in a comfortable position, and let all other feelings escape.

Spiritual meditation
As the name suggests, this form of meditation is for those who seek spiritual growth and connection, whether that be to a higher power or nature.

Movement meditation
Movement meditation is all about focusing on the motion your body makes during an activity, like yoga. If you get anxious sitting during other types of meditation, this one can be appealing.

Transcendental meditation
The goal with this form is to transcend beyond your current state of being by breathing slowly. You might also have a mantra that you repeat for motivation and encouragement.

Remember that getting into the practice of meditation can take some time, but no matter which works best for you, meditation can help you live a healthier and happier life. When trying it out, enjoy the process and remain in the present.